Our take: Burgundy 2009
(by susie & peter)
What follows is our opinion of the vintage based on our joint experiences over the past few weeks – the wines, the buzz and the inside steer.
We also include notes from our top scoring wines for anyone looking to splash out on a case or two of the 09s.
The hype (or what the Burgundy specialists had to say)…
Before the tasting fortnight began we had heard that this was a stunning vintage, especially for the reds.
However, many in the know seemed to consider 2009 wasn’t necessarily a vintage for long ageing and that a lot of the wines would benefit from early to medium-term drinking.
So what did we think..?
Our top tip in this generous vintage is to go for the villages-level wines (ie not the 1ers or Grands Crus).
What is so appealing about the villages reds is their generosity and concentration of fruit. There is both brightness and warmth to so many of these relatively inexpensive, early-drinking wines. All of which makes 2009 an ideal vintage for Burgundy die-hards looking for value in straitened times and, at the other end of the spectrum, for those longing to take an initial dip into the red Burgundy pool.
The Grand and Premier Cru wines are not only expensive, they’re also a bit hit-and -miss. According to Louis Michel Liger-Belair, deciding when to pick in 09 was difficult. Three weeks of warm weather in August meant sugar levels were often achieved before full physiological ripeness. As a result, those who harvested too early have produced lean wines, often with unpleasant green notes.
There is also a firmness to a lot of the top wines which may mellow with time…but why subject yourself to a long and uncertain wait when there are so many lesser wines that are drinking beautifully now and will continue to do so for at least a couple of years?
Admittedly, where the Grand and Premier Cru reds are good they have a compelling, velvety opulence and exotic flavour that is impossible to resist. We include several of our favourites below.
With regard to the whites, many are lacking in concentration and structure. However, there are some delicious 2009s on the market that will certainly offer pleasure in the short to medium term. We list a range, from basic Bourgogne Blanc to Grand Cru, in our selection.
Where Chablis is concerned, the acidity isn’t always brisk enough in the 2009s and, although there are some notable exceptions, we’d suggest you consider buying the 2008 vintage instead.
Our top producer of the vintage: Domaine Trapet Père et Fils
Our top wine of the vintage: Domaine Trapet Père & Fils, Latricères-Chambertin Grand Cru 2009
What we’d like to buy for our cellar:
o Domaine Tollot-Beaut, Bourgogne Blanc 2009 (Loeb £62 per 6 bottle case in bond (IB))
o Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru la Grande Montagne 2009 (Loeb £295 per case IB)
o Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ-Canet (Loeb £545 per case IB)
o Château des Jacques Morgon Côte du Py 2009 (Hatch Mansfield, £133.95 Ex VAT DPD)
o Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits “Clos du Prieuré” (Loeb £148 per case IB)
o Domaine Marc Roy, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2009 (Loeb £285 per case IB)
o Domaine Bruno Clavelier, Vosne-Romanée “les Hauts de Beaux Monts” 2009 (Loeb £379 per case IB)
o Domaine du Comte Liger Belair, Vosne-Romanée, Clos du Château, Monopole, 2009 (Justerini & Brooks £550 per case IB)
o Domaine Trapet Père & Fils, Latricères-Chambertin Grand Cru 2009 (C&B £895 per case IB)
(Note: BBR = Berry Bros & Rudd; C&B = Corney & Barrow; IB = in bond; DPD = duty paid )
Château des Jacques Morgon Côte du Py 2009 (Hatch Mansfield, £133.95 Ex VAT DPD) – juicy, firm and savoury style, with lots of dark fruit and spicy complexity. Very serious wine, with fine tannin. Delicious. Just don’t titter at the name… 7/10
Domaine David Clark, Bourgogne Rouge, Au Pelson 2009 (BBR, £138 per case in bond) – A lovely, fresh wine with lots of juicy black cherry fruit. 7.25 /10 (The villages Vosne at £174 per 6 bottles is also recommended.)
Domaine de Courcel, Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2009 (Loeb, £195 per case in bond)- A leafy style of Pinot Noir that is incredibly drinkable. 8/10
Domaine Vincent Dureuil-Janthial, Bourgogne Rouge 2009 (Loeb £89 per case in bond) – An eminently drinkable Bourgogne Rouge with sappy black fruit and rounded mouthfeel. Perfect balance of sweet and savoury flavours. Great value. 7.75/10
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits “Clos du Prieuré” (Loeb £148 per case in bond) – A dark and exotic wine that offers great value for money. 8.25/10
Louis Jadot Côte de Nuits Villages ‘Le Vaucrain’ 2009 (Hatch Mansfield, £137.42 Ex VAT DPD) – Jadot made some excellent lower end wines in 09, including their Santenay Clos de Malte (6.5/10), Savigny-Lès-Beaune La Dominode (6.5/10), Beaune Clos des Couchereaux (6/10). But this was the best value. Pleasant hedgerow fruit, classic Pinot Noir. Juicy, rounded, savoury palate, very satisfying indeed. Lovely at the price. 6.5-7/10
Domaine Jean-Marc Bouley, Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune 2009 (Loeb £115 per case in bond) – A really lively wine with bags of florality and juicy summer berry fruit. Extremely drinkable and a lovely match for Asian dishes. 8
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Vosne-Romanée, Aux Réas 2009 (BBR £225 per 6 bottle case in bond) – Deeply coloured with dense, earthy aromas. Lots of dark fruit concentration. Not typical but impressive. 7.5/10
Louis Jadot Vosne-Romanée Les Chaumes 2009 (Hatch Mansfield, £455.68 Ex VAT DPD) – floral, scented, classic nose. Silky, juicy palate. Lovely and elegant, with good concentration. Great balance and typicity. A winner. 8/10
Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot, Vosne-Romanée 2009 (Loeb £295 per case in bond) – Light, herbal style that offers very elegant drinking. 8/10
Domaine Sylvain Cathiard, Vosne-Romanée 2009 (BBR and Loeb £420 per case in bond) – I’ve included this wine as it’s the least expensive of the Cathiard range, but all of the domaine’s wines are excellent. This harmonious villages Vosne shows fresh blackberry flavours and a smooth, velvety texture. 8/10
Dominique Lafon Volnay 2009 (BBR £297 per case in bond) – Soft jammy aromatics, generous palate feel. 7.25/10
Domaine du Comte Liger Belair, Vosne-Romanée, Clos du Château, Monopole, 2009 (Justerini & Brooks £550 per case in bond) – Herbal and exotic with juicy dark fruit and a wonderful perfumed scent. Velvety and seductive with fine tannin and a delicious farmyard note. 8.5/10
Domaine Marc Roy, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2009 (Loeb £285 per case in bond) – Young winemaker Alexandrine Roy is quite a talent and is making consistently excellent wines in Gevrey – this is the least expensive that Loeb had on show but the ‘Clos Prieur’ at £310 per case and the ‘Cuvée Alexandrine’ at £410 are also superb (particularly the latter) if you want to spend a little more. 8/10
Domaine Arlaud Père et Fils, Gevrey-Chambertin 2009 (Loeb £239 per case in bond) – A soft wine packed with ripe berry fruit. Great for early drinking. 8/10
Domaine Bruno Clavelier, Vosne-Romanée “les Hauts de Beaux Monts” 2009 (Loeb £379 per case in bond)
Domaine Bruno Clavelier, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts Vieilles Vignes 2009 (Loeb £560 per case in bond)
– Both of these wines have a very different and compelling, ferruginous quality that makes them incredibly appealing. 8.75/10 each
Domaine du Comte Liger Belair, Vosne-Romanée, Reignots, 1er Cru, 2009 (Justerini & Brooks £1450 per case in bond) – Very attractive dark, flinty aromas. Rich and meaty though also elegant, velvety and exotic. A real wow-factor wine. 9/10
Domaine Rossignol-Trapet, Beaune 1er cru Teurons 2009 (C&B £250 per case in bond) – An engaging, leafy style. Light and refreshing but with good fruit ripeness. A little expensive. 8/10
Domaine Marquis d’Angerville, Volnay 1er cru Clos des Ducs 2009 (C&B £725 per case in bond) – Wonderful perfume and flinty, ferruginous character – delicious. 8.75/10
Domaine des Lambrays, Morey-St Denis, ‘Les Loups’, 1er Cru 2009 (BBR £270 per 6 bottle case in bond) – In the case of Domaine des Lambrays, the 1er cru is far more interesting than the villages Morey in this vintage, and much better value than the Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru. It shows excellent leafy complexity with savoury, earthy notes and sumptuous wild berry fruit. 8.5/10
Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaut St Jacques (Loeb £475 per case in bond) – Meaty, velvety and restrained – lovely stuff. 8.5/10
Domaine Hubert Lamy, St . Aubin Rouge 1er Cru Derrière chez Edouard 2009 (Loeb £199 per case in bond) – Soft, dark and fruity with a seductive savoury / sweet character. 8.25/10
Louis Jadot Echézeaux Grand Cru 2009 (Hatch Mansfield, £764.38 Ex VAT DPD) – lovely scent: wood smoke, berry fruit. Good spice and firm tannin on the palate, dense yet refined. One of the best wines from this house in this vintage. 8/10
Domaine Trapet Père & Fils, Latricères-Chambertin Grand Cru 2009 (C&B £895 per case in bond) – My (Susie’s) favourite producer and wine of 2009. This biodynamic estate produces stunning wines and the delicate, exotic perfume of this silky red is quite breath-taking. 9.25/10
Domaine Rossignol-Trapet, Latricières-Chambertin, Grand Cru 2009 (BBR £366 per 6 bottle case in bond) – Latricières-Chambertin seems to have performed particularly well in this vintage. This wine, from the excellent Rossignol-Trapet, is dark, exotic and intriguingly complex. 8.75/10
Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet 2009, Vincent Dampt (C&B £170 per case in bond) – Traditional stoney, leesy chablis with plenty of flavour and lovely complexity. 8/10
Domaine Moreau-Naudet, Chablis Grand Cru Valmur 2009 (Loeb £249 per case in bond) – This one gets the thumbs-up for its superb minerality – one to tuck away for a while. 8/10
Domaine Tollot-Beaut, Bourgogne Blanc 2009 (Loeb £62 per 6 bottle case in bond) – Attractive toasted hazelnut aromas lead to a full palate with lemon freshness and hints of dry extract. Good value. 7.5/10
Château de Fuissé, Pouilly-Fuissé Vieilles Vignes 2009 (Loeb £239 per case in bond) – Although all three of the whites from this domaine on show at the Loeb tasting were worth recommending, this old vine wine just had the edge. Richly oaky and full with lovely focus and concentration of flavour. 8.5/10
Louis Jadot Pernand-Vergelesses Clos de la Croix de Pierre 2009 (Hatch Mansfield, £142.64 Ex VAT DPD) – elegant mineral toasty nose with a pleasant lemony bite on the finish. Very good at the price. 6.5/10
Château de Puligny-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet 2009 (BBR £330 per case in bond) – A forward wine; nutty and attractively reductive on the nose, this is for relatively early drinking. 7.75/10
Domaine Arnaud Ente, Meursault, Clos des Ambres 2009 (BBR £246 per 6 bottle case in bond) – Perhaps a little low on acidity but othewise a deliciously savoury, toasted nut style. 7.75/10
Domaine Bernard Moreau, Chassagne-Montrachet 2009 (Loeb £195 per case in bond) – A rich style of Chassagne, full and tangy. Good for early drinking. 8/10
Domaine Michel Niellon Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Chenevottes 2009 (Loeb £349 per case in bond) – A beautifully balanced Chassagne with pleasing layers of flavour. Steely, toasty aromas and great structure. 8.5/10
Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard, Chassagne-Montrachet, Les Chaumées, 1er cru 2009 (BBR £360 per case in bond) – A pleasing Chassagne with toasted hazelnut aromas and richly textured palate. 7.5/10
Domaine Jean-Claude Bachelet, Chassagne-Montrachet, Boudriotte, 1er cru (BBR £420 per case in bond) – Full-flavoured and richly textured. 7.5/10
Domaine Fontaine-Gagnard, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru la Grande Montagne 2009 (Loeb £295 per case in bond) – This estate produces quite sensational white Burgundy and I would happily buy and drink anything that was on show at the Loeb tasting last week. This relatively affordable wine is a gorgeous mix of roasted nuts, juicy fruit, minerality and flinty overtones. 8.75/10 (NB: the Criots-Batard, which needs some cellaring, is quite fabulous but it will set you back £445 for 6 bottles in bond.)
Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatières 1er Cru 2009 (Hatch Mansfield £381.77 Ex VAT DPD) – tight, golden, earthy and mealy nose. Good tight lemony concentration on the palate, with a touch of warming spice. Mineral. Stands out for its good concentration. Good, if not great, especially given the price. 7/10
Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ-Canet (Loeb £545 per case in bond) – Showing the typical restraint and potential of Sauzet’s wines at their best, this is one to treat yourself to and wait to drink! 9/10
Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2009 (Hatch Mansfield £629.60 Ex VAT DPD) – opens up slowly with smoky, mineral, golden depths. Layered, spicy and concentrated. So good…until the finish! That’s when it comes up a tiny bit short for this level and price. Still a lovely wine for the vintage, though. 8/10